Balram shares his reflections on society with Jiabao throughout the book, making readers reflect on issues that they would normally overlook. The following is one of Balram’s observations of society:
“The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor—they never overlap, do they? See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor.”
Although this is a fictional novel, the story is realistic, as it describes the plight of many lower-class Indians who are trying to make a living. It goes beyond the India portrayed in most Bollywood movies, and takes more of a Slumdog Millionaire approach in bringing issues such as political corruption, poverty, education, ethics, and religion to light.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who is willing to learn about India and society at large through the eyes of a lower-class boy who strives to make a good life for himself despite the odds.